Thu, Jul 14, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Trade office name change in HK a breakthrough: Ma

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday applauded the name change of the nation’s representative office in Hong Kong, describing it as a major breakthrough in the protection of the nation’s dignity.

The office, currently known as Chung Hwa Travel Service, will be known as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong starting tomorrow.

“It is not only a change in title. There will be practical changes, including the upgrade of the nation’s status and the protection of the nation’s dignity,” Ma said while presiding over the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee meeting in his capacity as KMT chairman.

The KMT invited Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) to brief the committee on the name change of Taiwan’s representative offices in Hong Kong and Macau, and her recent US trip.

Lai said the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in Macau will be renamed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Macau. Meanwhile, a new Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office will be established in Taiwan.

The name change of the representative offices and the establishment of the Hong Kong office in Taiwan, she said, reflected the positive interactions between the government and Hong Kong and Macau, and was an achievement amid the development of cross-strait relations.

Ma said both Hong Kong and Macau have played crucial roles in the development of cross-strait ties and the name change highlighted the consensus of “mutual non-denial” across the Taiwan Strait.

“Both sides do not acknowledge each other’s sovereignty, but also do not deny each other’s existence,” he said.

Defending the government’s efforts in improving cross-strait relations, Ma said Lai brought a clear message back from her US trip, which was that Washington approved the improvement of cross-strait relations.

“It was very clear that the US’ alleged concerns about tighter cross-strait ties and that we are pro-China are false ... The government is cautious in the promotion of cross-strait relations and we will not take hasty steps,” he said.

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